Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russia’s campaign influence operation in the 2016 presidential election and his confidential report “explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” is now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr.
Barr advised Congress in a letter today to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Judiciary committees that he is “reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
Barr added that he would consult with Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies.”
“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review,” he added.
Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein on May 17, 2017. Over the course of the investigation, indictments have included former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Trump confidant Roger Stone, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik, attorney Alex van der Zwaan, fake ID salesman Richard Pinedo, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and Viktor Borisovich Netyksho and other Russian nationals accused of hacking.
“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”
President Trump is at Mar-a-Lago with staff, including White House lawyers, for the weekend.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CNN that “if necessary” he will call Mueller before the committee to testify about the report.
“There may be conduct that was criminal but not sufficiently provable, or there may be a broader body of conduct that is deeply compromising to national security but not a criminal matter,” Schiff said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement that “many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests” and he hopes “the Special Counsel’s report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.”
“The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible,” As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared in a joint statement that it’s “imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress.”
“Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public,” Pelosi and Schumer said.